Despite having traveled the world to exhibit and speak about his art, Ramallah resident Khaled Jarar was held at the border by Israeli forces, hours before his latest exhibition in New York.
They say art transcends geography, creed and politics, but in the harsh realities of today’s Middle East, art can get you in real trouble. This was the case yet again this week, and for once we’re not talking about Egypt. In the tense and dire situation in Palestine, Israeli forces have blocked prominent Palestinian multimedia artist Khaled Jarrar from leaving Ramallah to travel to New York (via Jordan) where his exhibition at the New Museum for contemporary art is now running without him. Despite having travelled across the world with his art many times, Jarrar was held at the Allenby border crossing between the West Bank and Jordan due to what the Israeli Army called “an intelligence order” before being sent home 10 hours later.
Speaking to non-profit online magazine +972, Jarrar said “After a very long wait and without understanding what was happening, I was informed that there are “security reasons” that will prevent me from traveling until the 1st of August. For now, that means that I missed my morning flight from Amman to New York, that I will miss the opening of the show at the New Museum, and that I will miss my ‘artist talk’ with Lamia Joreige and Charif Kiwan, with Natalie Bell, that was supposed to happen on the 16th of July.”
A blanket ban on the use of the Allenby crossing for Palestinians, imposed since the murder of three Israeli teenagers last month, has been condemned by Amnesty International to no avail.